Protest against Abu Hasira festival today

Ahram Online, Thursday 30 Dec 2010

Opposition groups to demonstrate against the pilgrimage to Egypt of Israelis for the moulid of a 19th century rabbi

Abu Hasira
A previous demonstration against the Abu Hasira Festival

A demonstration will be held at noon today to protest the arrival to Egypt of Israelis and "Zionists" to celebrate the moulid (an annual religious festival to mark the birthday of a saint or head of a religious order) of Abu Hasira, according to the Muslim Brotherhood’s website.

The protest will be held in front of the Damanhour Preliminary Court.

According to the site's report, the demonstration will include members of former International Atomic Energy Agency Director Mohamed ELBaradei's National Association for Change, the Ghad, Nasserist, El-Karama, Democratic Front, Wafd and Tagammu parties in addition to the Kifaya coalition.

The protestors will also voice their anger that the government has failed to respect the 2001 Alexandria Supreme Administrative Court ruling to cancel the festival.

A 19th-century Moroccan Jewish rabbi, Abu Hasira's mausoleum is located in the village of Damatiuh, outside the delta city of Damanhour, where he died while travelling to Jerusalem in the 1880s.

On Sunday, three flights from Tel Aviv arrived in Cairo carrying 550 Israeli passengers headed to Abu Hasira. It is yet unknown how many have arrived to date, but it is expected that hundreds more will attend the eight day festival.

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